There has always been a fair amount of drama on the stock market.
Whether it’s crazy periods of volatility that have captured the markets over the past year, or new and exciting companies getting ready to go public, there’s almost always something to get excited about.
Learn, be amazed and also disgusted at the behavior of the sharks and the money-hungry.
I guarantee that most of these true stories will teach you something new and that as a Hollywood movie will also entertain you.
These are the top 10 best stock market movies of all time:
10. Too Big to Fail (2011)
What you’ll learn-How mortgage-backed securities defaults spread the crisis across the globe from Wall Street.
It also portrays the incompetent mechanics and policies implemented by the U.S. Federal Reserve tries to stabilize the financial markets.
Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary, after leaving his top job at Goldman Sachs, is trying to address the issues during the global economic meltdown.
The film is written and released in 2011 by Andrew Ross Sorkin, who has also written ongoing TV series Billions (also a must-watch to learn about hedge funds & insider trading) and is directed by Curtis Hanson.
It’s about how big and interconnected some companies are, especially financial institutions.
It showcases that if they collapse, it would be catastrophic for the bigger economic system.
And also explains the few clips about the crisis in the mortgage industry.
9. Trading Places (1983)
What you’ll learn– The movie shows trading’s ups and downs in a comedy genre giving America’s socio-economic basics and class structure.
The film also depicts a lot of stereotypical money beliefs.
Personally speaking, this is among the best trading movies which show basic emotions that go behind the volatility of a commodity.
Tough its 2019, but the emotions that go behind booms & dooms are the same.
Because of a bet, two callous millionaire brothers conspire to swap a snobbish investor’s and a wily street con artist’s fortunes.
This modern-day twist on ‘The Prince and Pauper’ stars Eddie Murphy as a street-wise con-artist who gets manipulated into becoming the manager of a commodities trading company while inadvertently replacing his successor, a blue-blooded executive (Dan Aykroyd).
While actual trading takes a backseat to the characters transitioning into their new circumstances, the final 15 minutes of the film have a very accurate depiction of a frenzied trading session in the pits of orange juice futures trading.
8. Barbarians at the Gate (1993)
What you’ll learn– Barbarians at the gate is inspired by a real-life event, movie viewers will be surprised and entertained by Nabisco’s CEO F. Ross Johnson’s failure and greed, as well as the background negotiations and skullduggery around this popular LBO.
A true story about R.J.R. Nabisco’s leveraged buy-out.
This conglomerate is to be taken over by a vicious war.
CEO Ross Johnson wants to kill by purchasing the undervalued company from investors, but the Wall Street investment professionals he recruits are becoming his buyout competition.
At its worst, it’s a “Greed is Good” grab for money.
This classic shows how Wall Street firms thrive on the inside of these mega-merger and acquisition deals.
Best finance movie on corporate insights if you are a Growth Investor.
7. Margin Call (2011)
What you’ll learn– Margin Call does little to hide the disdain for some of the largest banks’ reckless risk-taking in the run-up to the financial crisis of 2008, such as the sale in complex derivative instruments that they barely understood.
It also reminds the importance of risk management.
The day before the 2008 market crash, the head of the management division of a financial company working on a major analysis is fired.
His protege is trying to complete the analysis and find out the real reason for their financial downturn.
Then the characters are forced to take drastic action to reduce their losses.
This is a real roller coaster ride you don’t want to miss, filmed in a 24-hour time window of chaos during the 2008 financial crisis.
If you’re interested in what happened during the crisis inside financial firms, this might be the movie about stock market crash for you.
6. Glengarry Glen Ross (2011)
What you’ll learn– The stock market movie shows the greed and underhanded tactics to which advisory positions can be subjected, and the pressure their managers place on salespeople. (A wake-up call if you buy stocks based on reckless recommendations by your advisory or brokerage.)
When a New York City real estate sales office is given the news that at the end of the week, all except the top 2 will be fired, the office atmosphere heats.
This infinitely quotable movie, an acclaimed big-screen adaptation of a David Mamet play, focuses on a team of downtrodden real estate salesmen whose morals have now been completely eroded after years of working for their unscrupulous company.
Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon), who’s got a sick daughter, tries what he can get better leads from his boss, John Williamson (Kevin Spacey), but in no way.
While his coworker Dave Moss (Ed Harris) comes up with a plan to snatch the leads, for the tough-talking salesmen things get complicated.
5. Boiler Room (2000)
What you’ll learn– Focused on the lowest of the operators of the Pump and Dump scheme, this film is excellent and gives an insight into the operations that are still around today.
Boiler Room serves as a warning to those starting to invest in the stock market, to adhere to transparent, solid companies based on sound fundamentals.
A college dropout earns a position as an investment firm broker that takes it to a successful career.
Yet success clouds its judgment and pulls it into a vortex of greed and selfishness.
This is among the must-watch movies about the stock market, for those who want to know how the illusion of enormous wealth can poison minds and how it can corrupt and devastate investors.
4. Rogue Trader (1999)
What you’ll learn– The wall street movie shows you that there was (and still is) no transparency and risk management in the top banks or in the rest of banks.
An overview of a trader’s mind and why we need good oversight and safeguards because every person’s mindset can be ruinous.
This film is based on a true story of Nick Leeson, a derivatives broker, who caused the bankruptcy of the 233-year-old Barings Bank in England, the second-oldest trading bank in the world in 1995.
A rising star on the trading floor of Singapore, Leesons blow up as quickly as he progressed, covering massive losses in carefully hidden accounts from his bosses and eventually leading the mother of all unsuccessful trading on the Nikkei, which leads to a major sigma move in the end.
He’s in his head somewhat sooner and tries to hide the losses.
His only option is to flee the country with Lisa (Anna Friel), his beautiful wife, but Leeson has to eventually face his own consequences.
3. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
What you’ll learn– Like Barbarian’s pump and dump, The Wolf of Wall Street is created around the notorious Stratton Oakmont firm and a pump and dumping system that helped IPO so many large public companies in the late 80s and 90s, based on real-life events (with an unrealistic yet true-life based drama and a touch of Caprio’s best performance).
Jordan Belfort has become part of the fast lane and as a junior broker, loses his job on Black Monday (1987 Market crash).
With Donnie Azoff, he teams up and steals on the way up as his ties go, ultimately starting his own brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont.
This 3-hour-movie, in my opinion, is the most entertaining and funny movie in Hollywood, if not on our list.
It will not satisfy you watching just once.
2. The Big Short (2015)
What you’ll learn– Its the best movie to learn about the stock market.
As it shows, the shortcomings of investment banks and companies to even recognize the products they wonderfully develop and make a profit.
A few financial professionals note in the mid-2000s the uncertainty and expect the crash of the US housing market.
They find faults and corruption in the system through their research.
This film combines goofy comedy and a financial crisis in which 8 million people become unemployed.
1. Wall Street (1987)
What you’ll learn– The movie alerts us of the dangers of insider trading and market manipulation.
Basically, a must-watch finance movie for beginners.
Bud, a junior stockbroker, is interested in working with his idol Gordon Gekko and tries to impress him by spying on renowned companies.
Ultimately, the stockbroker (Charlie Sheen) develops a deep respect for Gekko (Douglas), by providing insider information, attract him to corporate raiding.
Unfortunately, the scheme in which Bud unknowingly endangers his dad’s (Martin Sheen) ability to make an honorable living.
After learning Gekko’s evil antics manipulated him, Bud attempts to destroy him in which he gains success.
In 2010 a sequel was released to reawaken the role of Michael Douglas’, Gordon Gekko, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.”
The popular phrase “greed is good” was offered to us by Gekko in the first movie.
These films are important to any potential financial expert.
Although if you don’t have a career in the field, these films can give you a sense of the wild and sometimes crazy financial world.
The above movies are readily available on Netflix.
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